9 Essentials of a Successful Real Estate Website
Agents that work with buyers and agents that work with sellers generally have a different idea of what makes a real estate website great. However, they all agree on the basics that their website should look great on all devices and include all of the features needed for lead generation and the tools to manage those leads.
At Paragon, we have taken the 9 essential things that most people believe a successful real estate website should have and combined them into one affordable package.
If you can go through this list and know that your website does everything, congratulations. You are probably one of the top producing agents in your area.
If you go through this list and realize that your website is missing pieces, give us a call and let us help!
1. Integrated IDX
Easily the most important piece of your website, the benefits to having an integrated property search included with your website are endless. You get 1000's of extra pages indexed with the search engines, giving your website a lot more credibility. Your visitors can easily search to find the properties they are interested in. Allowing them to save their favorites and create listing alerts generates leads which can translate into profits.
Your competition already has an integrated property search as part of their website, you should too!
2. Smart Lead Capture
Allow visitors to view a number of listings, THEN require them to register. When you let them see what they get before asking for their information, it greatly increases the chances of converting them into usable leads.
You should also be able to add lead generating forms throughout your website. Whether it's for gathering enough information to offer a CMA or simple forms to that allow you to build a mailing list.
3. Automated Listing Alerts
Keep prospects coming back when your website notifies them of new and updated listings. Not only is this something that saves you time since visitors can request and manage this feature themselves, but your CRM also lets you know what they are looking at before you contact them.
If you offer this for prospects already but it's not integrated with your website, you're missing out on huge branding and marketing opportunities.
4. Integrated CRM
Your website should talk seamlessly with your CRM. Sure, you might have a great way to manage leads but if it's not connected to your website, you don't get to see important information like who returns to your website and what they looked at.
If you know a prospect has returned 3 days in a row and looked at a particular listing 8 times, or 5 properties in the same neighborhood, you can easily use that information to contact them and lead the conversation in your favor.
5. Predefined Property Searches
Easily create pages that specifically list the properties that you want shown based on search criteria that you choose. Not only does this create deep links into your website for the search engines to index, it also drives traffic and portrays you as a specialist in communities or areas that you want to focus on.
This is also important for pointing prospects to properties they might be interested in. They don't have to think about searching, they just click the link that you provide and get a list of properties to meet their needs.
6. Branded Landing Pages
Landing pages, also known as "Squeeze Pages", generally focus on one specific action that you would like the visitor to take. There is no menu or other items that can distract the visitor until the specified action is completed. Landing pages can be used in marketing campaigns to offer a free CMA, sign up for a mailing list, or any other number of functions.
Using landing pages that aren't integrated with your website is a mistake. You end up paying for yet another service you don't need and it also doesn't integrate well with your website or your website statistics. With a Paragon website, it takes less than 2 seconds to take an existing page on your website and use it as a branded landing page. Complete integration with no extra work and no extra fees. It doesn't get easier.
7. Responsive (Mobile Friendly)
Get your phone out and open your website. If it doesn't look good, you are losing business. It's that simple.
Many people check email using their phone now so when someone receives a listing alert or a link to one of your landing pages, they are going to click that link and use their phone to access your website. When they get to your website and it isn't mobile friendly, that prospect is gone.
8. Website Analytics
Where does your traffic come from? What do they look at? Is it connected with your CRM?
When you spend time or money to get traffic to your website, it only makes sense you that know and track where the traffic comes from. If you don't have this information, how do you know if you are focusing on the right marketing methods? How do you know to do more of what works and less of what doesn't?
9. Search Engines
Many of the features above tie into making your website search engine friendly. The many 1000's of pages from your IDX, deep linking using the predefined searches, and having a mobile friendly website all contribute to obtaining traffic from the search engines.
Other things that matter are things like having a ton of area specific content, having the ability to create as many pages as you need so that you can showcase certain communities or neighborhoods that you work in, and, having unique page titles and meta tags for every page.
In closing, there's more to having a successful website than buying a domain name and using a free website builder to throw a few pages together. Sure, that'll get you something that you can put on your business card but that's about it. It'll be an electronic brochure. Nothing else.
If you are trying to put pieces together from different providers, you should ask yourself if that's really a good strategy. When your website is with one company, your IDX is with another, and your CRM is somewhere else, there's no way those pieces can work together. Not only that, who do you call if there's a problem?
Having a website that incorporates ALL of these features is hard to find but at Paragon, we're proud to say that we not only offer everything in this list, but we do it at an unbeatable price.